Billy Congreve was an exceptional soldier and an exceptional man. By the time he was killed on the Somme in July 1916 at the age of twenty-five he had been awarded the DSO, MC, and the Legion d'Honneur, and for his many deeds of gallantry on the Somme, a posthumous VC. Born into a military family (his father General Congreve had also won the VC) he became a regular soldier in the Rifle Brigade before the war, and in France became a staff officer, but one who chose to be in the front line as often as he could. This makes his remarkable diaries all the more valuable since he writes from the thick of the fighting and yet retains an objectivity that enables him to observe all that is going on around him both in the trenches and at headquarters. Terry Norman carefully edited the diary to set his story in the context of the war, and thus provide an exceptional picture of what an officer thought of the conduct of the war side by side with his personal grief at the loss of his friends and the wastage of human life.
Out of print for over 30 years, this special centenary edition of this classic work includes a new foreword from esteemed military author Nigel Cave, as well as an expanded introduction from Terry's widow, Joan and a newly designed plate section. Detailing the extraordinary exploits of a truly remarkable man during the first two years of the war, this book is a compulsive purchase for all fans of the period.
Terry Norman was born in Hampshire and spent most of his adult life in advertising. He was senior director of an advertising agency in the picturesque Hampshire market town of Alresford. His love for writing was only matched by his deep interest in history, believing that a firm knowledge of the past is vital for a better understanding of the present. Terry's interest in the Great War went back to the early 1960s, where he frequently visited the old Western Front to familiarize himself with the terrain. While researching a particular aspect of the Somme battles, he chanced across Major William Congreve's war diary; the result of which is Armageddon Road.
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